8 Tips for Painting the Tuscan Landscape

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The light in Tuscany has inspired painters and artists going back to the Renaissance. Indeed you will feel like you are moving through a painting most days, the landscape and setting are so lovely. We have hosted several painter groups in the area near Montalcino, on the Tuscany Untour. Our farmhouse apartments there provide a comfortable and scenic refuge for painters and artists. Some of our past trip leaders have made the following suggestions for how best to capture Tuscany while painting outdoors.
1.  Simplify the scene. Squint your eyes and focus on the total landscape. Try to see it as one scene. Do not over focus on the individual parts.
2.  Decide on the master color of the overall atmospheric tone of the scene.
3.  Establish the horizon line and check your perspective. 
4. Allow for the natural effect of the atmosphere. What is further from the viewer should usually be of a cooler value than what is closer to the foreground.
5.  Simplify your palette. Less is more. Trying to use too many different tubes of color will affect the overall harmony of the painting.
6.  Have fun! You are not there to paint a masterpiece, you are there to learn from observation. Enjoy the whole experience. 
7.  Clean up thoroughly and leave no trace of litter when you leave.
8.  Stay in the heart of the best scenery, in the romantic setting of a farm in the countryside so you have easy access to the scenery and can return to your perch at all times of day and see your environment in all light.
The Tuscan Untour is centered in the Val D’Orcia, a valley so picturesque it is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its stark natural beauty. You may sketch or paint the surroundings from a lounge chair on the grounds of your farm, or just take it all in with friends and family.
Enjoy your travels, and your painting!

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